Login or register
Login or register
Stay logged in
Log in/Sign up using Facebook.
Log in/Sign up using Gmail/Google+.
CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT
Email is optional and is used for password recovery purposes.
Rank #3005 on Comments
Level 261 Comments: Pure Win
Send mail to Vandeekree
Invite Vandeekree to be your friend
Last status update:
Date Signed Up:
Highest Comment Rank:
Content Level Progress:
Level 0 Content: Untouched account → Level 1 Content: New Here
Comment Level Progress:
Level 261 Comments: Pure Win → Level 262 Comments: Pure Win
Total Comments Made:
What people say about Vandeekree
latest user's comments
- Cost of practice does not matter. We can assume maximum cost o…
"Cost of practice does not matter." - to you.
"And that finite amount of suffering here on Earth or the maximum but finite amount of missed out on pleasure here on Earth is nothing when compared to the possible reward gained by spending your life seeking belief" - that's simply untrue. This is like saying one should not bother being frugal while gambling because the money one has on them now is always worth risking for the chance at a jackpot.
I would rather take the sure thing and live a pleasant, productive, and world-improving life while I have it than spend time doing something I hate doing for the chance that maybe I'll get a reward at the end. Loss of what I have now for a chance at something later is a value-risk assessment, it is not an objectively good choice.
"And it would be pointless if there is no afterlife, but no less pointless than living any other way." - That is assuming all ways of living are equally valuable to a given individual, which is most assuredly not the case.
"It's the only logical thing to do. " - Logic is a matter of deciding what is true and false within a given set of premises. If we disagree on what is and is not good or valuable, we will have different conclusions of truth value using the same logical process.
"But no one is saying one should try and force themselves to believe. Only that they should logically attempt to find faith, not cling to knowingly false faith.
" - And I am saying if doing so would cause suffering, which in myself it would, it is not a thing one should pursue.
"it is still an eternal reward. " - Or eternal suffering, depending on your perspective.
"It is illogical to hurt yourself just because you dislike your situation." - That is your assumption. Many would argue that suicide is a bodily right, and should be allowed to be pursued for any given reason, or at least under extreme circumstances. That is an act of hurting yourself that many have valid arguments for (that you may reject, certainly) that is based in disliking their situation.
It doesn't matter to anyone. Are you telling me you wouldn't accept an entire human life of the worst possible suffering to then get your idea of the most enjoyable existence for eternity? Any human thinking logically will have to admit that infinite good outweighs limited suffering in terms of cost to benefit ratio to an infinite degree.
Not true, to use your analogy, it's like knowing that one should not be frugal when gambling if the chance if that you get all jackpots forever and also become immortal. Surely anyone would logically go broke for such a chance. Returning every day of their life after making more money. Stopping only to eat and sleep.
And that assessment of keeping what you have instead of risking it for something better is the safe choice in matters here on Earth. But when you say that, it shows that you simply don't understand infinity. You don't seem to understand that you are risking nothing for the chance at everything. It's not a reward, it's the reward. The biggest conceivable reward and more. Let's assume you hate searching for faith and always will, even that is worth the pay off for even the chance at eternity. Surely you an see this is only logical. Do not be like Esau who sold his birth right for a bowl of soup while hungry.
"assuming all ways of living are equally valuable" Again you compared finite pleasure to the chance of infinite pleasure. You surely do not grasp the concept of infinity is you can say this.
"Logic is a matter of deciding what is true and false within a given set of premises." But when a matter is unknown, logic become predicated on the value of each possible outcome. And no one in their right mind can value heaven as anything but infinity valuable.
I don't think you can call suicide an act of hurting yourself. It's an act of attempting to end pain. I can't imagine someone sane committing suicide for any other reason than to get away from some form of suffering. And so my assertion stands. It is illogical to hurt yourself just because you dislike your situation.
"Are you telling me you wouldn't accept an entire human life of the worst possible suffering to then get your idea of the most enjoyable existence for eternity?" - If that was absolutely guaranteed? I probably would. I'd be a bit apprehensive about existing consciously forever, as my taste would eventually change naturally over time and I'd grow dismally bored with infinite bliss, and it'd come to the question: Would heaven change to accommodate me, or would I change to accommodate heaven? Given your description includes 'my idea of', I'd assume the former, so that'd settle that issue.
But this isn't offering a 100% guarantee.
"Any human thinking logically will have to admit that infinite good outweighs limited suffering in terms of cost to benefit ratio to an infinite degree. " - In your form of logic which assumes 'Infinite reward is worth any risk', perhaps that is true. That is not a universal rule of Logic though.
"Not true, to use your analogy, it's like knowing that one should not be frugal when gambling if the chance if that you get all jackpots forever and also become immortal." - You are merely changing the scale of my example, not the actual point it is making. I feel this is covered better in others posts we've made, so I'm going to skip it.
"But when you say that, it shows that you simply don't understand infinity." - No, it's putting a break between infinity and the chance for infinity. You seem to be making a similar leap here as an argument I once heard that Omnipotence must be possible because any being we conceive of that had omnipotence would automatically become real, because it would be omnipotent within out minds. (yours is significantly less extreme of course, but a similar conflation of 'Infinite option = infinite result' is happening.
A .01% chance of infinity occurring is not equivalent to infinite chances of infinity.
"You don't seem to understand that you are risking nothing for the chance at everything" - I cover this more thoroughly elsewhere, but this is based purely on the assumption that there are no risks and only possible appealing rewards involved, which is a massive, absolutely huge assumption.
"Let's assume you hate searching for faith and always will, even that is worth the pay off for even the chance at eternity. " - To you.
"Do not be like Esau who sold his birth right for a bowl of soup while hungry. " - If Esau would have died of starvation otherwise, if choice was perfectly logical. One could not enjoy their birthright if they are dead. (Assuming the birthright is purely physical, I don't recall the details of Esau's tale off the top of my head)
Logic is a way of thinking, it can only tell you what is true and false based on your core set of values, facts, beliefs, and assumptions. You would need to convince me of all of your core positions, THEN Logically argue me to agree with you from them if you want to compel me with Logic.
"You surely do not grasp the concept of infinity is you can say this. " - I do. I do not conflate the chance for infinity with infinity itself.
"But when a matter is unknown, logic become predicated on the value of each possible outcome. And no one in their right mind can value heaven as anything but infinity valuable. " - That is a personal value judgement of Heaven and is not a given. Perhaps you view me out of my right mind, but I feel similarly about you in other matters, I'm sure. It doesn't make you crazy, it simply exemplifies that we hold different values.
"I can't imagine someone sane committing suicide for any other reason than to get away from some form of suffering." - It could be the only way to get to Heaven. (Or open the door. c;)
"It is illogical to hurt yourself just because you dislike your situation." - Suffering is an example of disliking your situation. It is only a matter of scale when and where 'dislike' becomes 'suffering'.
To me, a life of pretension and boredom is suffering.
You certainly don't understand eternal bliss if you think you would grow bored. You only grow bored because the receptors in your brain become numb to inputs of dopamine and other pleasure chemicals. It's theoretically possible to stop this using medical science today. Now imagine how much more could be done with God-like control over such things. Preventing boredom is trivial and, again, shows that you are not conceptualizing eternal bliss very accurately.
But it seems that you still do not understand infinity. I am not mistaking infinity with the chance for infinity. I am showing that you do not seem to understand that the value of even the smallest chance for infinity is worth anything finite.
Perhaps you misunderstanding of infinity can be helped by perspective. You seem to not believe giving up your entire life's pleasure is worth a chance at infinite gain. So how much of your life is worth giving up for that chance? Would you give up half your life for a chance at infinity? Perhaps searching only ever other day or every other week? Would you give up one fourth? What about just one year? Would you spend one year in honest earnest to fulfill that chance at infinite gain? I imagine that giving up only a portion of your life and keeping the rest for yourself is more appealing than giving the whole life.
And surely that small portion of life given could serve as an experiment. If you refuse to ever look at any religion at all then you are in the dark as to what the odds of some religion being right are. But if you spend some time studying, then perhaps insight can be gained. If one religion were to seem more true than any other, perhaps you would see the odds change. Or perhaps the religions that seem plausible don't seem as torturous to explore as you previously thought.
Seeing that Pascal's wager is not an all or nothing game may help you visualize what is at stake. It may cause you to realize that the odds of finding the right religion are not so dismally low as they would be for a wholly random guess. One might realize that it's not a negative to spend one's life searching but it can be fulfilling and even pleasurable.
I tended to stick to the strongest odds of there being no God for the sake of showing even they are nothing in the face of infinite gain, but perhaps that was a mistake that made it too easy for you to assume the effort isn't worth it and that the odds are all or nothing bets only.
- There is no limiting one's though to faith based claims. Our t…
I'm going to need you to define what you mean by Faith for me to respond to this.
Faith is the acceptance of something unknown as worth living one's life by.
Interesting. That's a new one, thanks. o/
I reject Faith as a useful too for living a life where I believe and ascribe to as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible, then, which is my goal. c:
- I am more interested in the kalam cosmological argument as I h…
Throwing out a debunk video I don't necessarily wholly endorse by a channel I like well enough to recommend:
"Your first problem is assuming Pascal's Wager says someone must believe anything" - It necessitates this if the religion in question requires belief such as Christianity.
" only asserts that it is logical to try to get yourself to believe" - That is not the interpretation I am familiar with, but it trades not being an outright problem with being significantly less compelling. The argument, ostensibly, is meant to make me believe in and of itself, or in the context you're presenting, make me want to believe. It's still an argument on gambling.
"I don't see what evidence you have that such a statement is true. " - The fundamental nature of belief. There is a reason people have emotional and psychological struggles when dealing with conflicting belief structures - if one could chose to believe or not believe something, they would simply flip that switch within themselves and be done with it, and could do so back in turn again if they changed their mind. This is why you hear so many stories of Atheists who dealt with becoming crestfallen or afraid when they began to seriously doubt their beliefs - because they didn't chose to begin, or continue to do so. You can chose whether to endorse or espouse a belief, but you can't chose to actually hold or reject one.
"Have you tried to find faith?" - Perhaps as a youth I did, but I find faith a poor, and often harmful reason to believe in anything. That is faith defined as 'belief without good evidence or in spite of evidence to the contrary'.
"Aware of what might be gained if you manage to find belief?" - I would need to have a reason to seek something for starters. I find the idea of the Christian heaven immensely unsettling, for example, and would not wish to go there personally.
"There are many accounts of people pretending to believe at first in hopes of finding God and it leading them to genuine faith after enough effort." - You assume it is the pretension that caused the change in belief. Rather I would argue the pretension dramatically increased the exposure of that person to things that espoused religious views, thus increasing the chance one convinced them by whatever metric was necessary. If belief were a choice, they wouldn't need to pretend.
"belief is not a choice and that an unbeliever could never find belief even if he tried his hardest" - I didn't say that, I said an unbeliever couldn't simply will themselves to believe. They are perfectly capable of attempting to convince themselves. People do this all the time - Skeptics are a prime example, though in the other direction, towards disbelief.
"atheism still is a 0 percent chance of gain" - This is only assuming you would suffer no ill effects from practicing a religious lifestyle for no benefit. I would abhor spending what little time I have alive pretending or trying to force myself to believe something only to have to all be false. I'd have wasted what little time I had on nothing. The value of that compared to a potential version of an afterlife is subjective.
"To show that atheism is an illogical view to hold" - I wouldn't call atheism a view, so much as a vocalized negative position, like that of a non-hobbyist.
" breaks atheism because it shows that there is simply no valid reason for a thinking person to hold onto atheism" - That is nonsense. Atheism is a lack of belief - it's not some set of ideals or values one aspires to embody or represent. I don't believe in God(s). That's all it means.
"believing in something gives the chance of infinite gain." - This assumes no risk at offending a deity that would otherwise not care if one were simply atheistic, but is offended at false-idol worshipers.
"No amount of living for pleasure could possibly outweigh that chance of infinite pleasure." - That is entirely subjective.
Oddly enough I've actually seen this exact video while searching for counter arguments to the kalam argument. I'm not going to break it down at the moment as there are limited characters in this text box and I think our focus can be filled with Pascal at the moment so I propose we save this till later if that's alright with you.
I agree Pascal's wager makes attempting belief necessary, but you seem to be trying to make it assert more than it does. The wager only forces a person to accept where their motives should be in life, it never tells them how to accomplish these new motives. Pascal's wager says that you must logically want to believe, not that you can or will or anything else.
I agree that some people try to ascribe more to Pascal's Wager than it says, but this is the only interpretation I have ever found of the wager that actually fits Pascal's words.
I don't see why the argument is less compelling. Perhaps you are used to theoretical absolutes and so something so practical to life seems weak comparatively. I agree that Pascal's Wager isn't a proof of God like the Kalam Cosmological argument, but destroying atheism as illogical and pointless is a powerful thing.
Again, Pascal's wager does not propose to make you believe or even make you want to believe. It only shows that it must be logically accepted that your only choice is to spend your life trying to believe. But that assumes you care about logic. The allure of pleasure often overshadows the logical mind.
Pascal's Wager is, oddly enough, not a gamble(despite being called a wager) as it shows that there is no gamble at all. A gamble is a choice based on the best odds, but the wager shows that there is no logical way one should choose atheism. You'd be backing a horse that hurts if you lose and has no gain even if you picked right. Perhaps the wager comes from the next logical choice of which religion to pick, but that is not covered by Pascal's wager.
You seem to be defining belief as something that is forced into the mind based on facts presented. But that's not belief, that's knowledge. Belief only appears when there is something unknown. If there is a closed door and you have no idea what's inside, then you have no choice but to believe what you choose to believe. And what do you base that on? You base your belief on hints gathered through evidence weighed against the value you put on each outcome. If the evidence shows there is likely a bear inside, you don't open it. But if piles of money might also be in there then suddenly the risk of a bear doesn't seem as bad. And so there is nothing but a choice. You believe what you live your life by and so if you open that door, you choose to believe in the money and if you don't you choose to believe in the bear. Pascal answers this weighing of evidence and value for us by showing us that the value is infinite and thus there is only one choice.
I can give you an example from my own life. When I was young I believed blindly through my youth. When I got older, I realized I only believed because I was raised that way and so I dropped my faith and started looking into what the truth might be. But never once did atheism hold any belief, because there was simply no reason to believe it. Surely I couldn't know, and so why pursue a pointless way of living one's life? Belief is assuredly something one chooses.
But you didn't spend your whole life trying to believe did you? And of course you won't find belief if you define belief that way. You just defined belief as something done for no good reason. But Pascal gives a reason and so even that definition of belief still requires acceptance of some form of god.
Even if practicing religion has the complete most possible negatives to your life, it is still worth it when compared to infinite reward. The same goes for loss of Earthly pleasures.
Unless you claim to know there is no God for a fact, then atheism is a view and is based on belief.
"You believe what you live your life by and so if you open that door, you choose to believe in the money and if you don't you choose to believe in the bear. Pascal answers this weighing of evidence and value for us by showing us that the value is infinite and thus there is only one choice. " - This is a false dichotomy and misrepresents belief in a very fundamental way, but I do like it as an example.
Let me frame this in a more Formal Logic oriented way:
There is a Door
There is possibly something beyond that door
What is beyond that door may be good (Stack of money)
What is beyond that door may be infinitely good ('Heaven')
What is beyond that door may be bad (A bear)
What is beyond that door may be infinitely bad ('Hell')
What is beyond that door may be any combination of the above statements
We do not know how to open the door, if it even can be opened
Now, we have multiple questions to ask:
What do we believe is on the other side? (Irrelevant given your definition of Pascal's wager, but I'm being thorough)
Is what may be on the other side worth spending time, however much it may be, to attempt (possibly in vain) to open the door?
Do the chance of the positives outweigh the risks of the negatives?
What will happen if I do NOT open, or try to open the door? Will that be positive or negative, possibly infinitely so?
I think this frames things more clearly, at least for me. It covers all angles that pure skeptical analysis offers - it doesn't assume oblivion is somehow objectively worse than infinite suffering, and it doesn't assuming infinite pleasure+ infinite pain is automatically a good or bad choice.
It's basically a risk assessment chart for, I know you don't like this analogy, but gambling. :p
"I dropped my faith and started looking into what the truth might be." - But I am certain this was not a single-moment process, having gone through it and heard people go through it myself. You may have had a moment of realization, but I am sure it was not just you consciously saying "Oh, I'll live this way now."
"But never once did atheism hold any belief, because there was simply no reason to believe it." - Well it wouldn't. You can't believe 'in' Atheism. It's a non-position by definition.
"Belief is assuredly something one chooses. " - Your example doesn't say this, it only describes how you lived before and after your belief changed. How you live your life is mostly a series of choices presented by circumstance, drive, and previous choices, but belief is automatic - you can choose to expose yourself to different ideas, but you can't choose to accept them. I'm speaking of the process in your mind of how belief comes to exist there.
"But you didn't spend your whole life trying to believe did you?" - Gave up around.. fifteen, I'd say? I'm a skeptic. I'm open to being convinced, but I find trying to make myself believe something to be harmful and a waste of time.
"And of course you won't find belief if you define belief that way." - I define belief that way because it fits all observed and testimonial examples I've ever come across, not because it's convenient or preferential to do so.
"You just defined belief as something done for no good reason" - A good or bad reason is subjective. I would find a religious experience in a church as a bad reason to believe, others would find it a very good one.
"Even if practicing religion has the complete most possible negatives to your life, it is still worth it when compared to infinite reward. The same goes for loss of Earthly pleasures. " - That is your personal value assessment. When faced with, for example, these two outcomes: 99.9% chance: Oblivion .1%: Some 'Heaven', at the cost of all of my assured existence being miserable, I am inclined towards not taking that gamble, as the 99.9% is not especially unappealing, and the idea of heaven is potentially quite unappealing anyway.
Atheism is a lack of belief. Not affirmation of negative belief.
" I'm not going to break it down at the moment as there are limited characters in this text box and I think our focus can be filled with Pascal at the moment so I propose we save this till later if that's alright with you." - Neat coincidence, and yeah I wouldn't expect you to. I just threw out the first result I recognized from a channel I had some positive experience with.
"but you seem to be trying to make it assert more than it does." - I think it's worth clarifying that your version of Pascal's Wager (which may be the one Pascal intended, I don't know) is less demanding than uses of it I've seen in the past, so I'm doing my best to keep my bias out of the argument. o/
"Pascal's wager says that you must logically want to believe, not that you can or will or anything else. " - If that is literally all it is, I'll just skip your responses to my irrelevant points to keep this as short as possible.
"I agree that Pascal's Wager isn't a proof of God like the Kalam Cosmological argument, but destroying atheism as illogical and pointless is a powerful thing. " - Well, clearly I don't feel it does that, so perhaps we should begin shifting our discussion to 'defending' atheism (a position I rarely like to take in any meaningful way, as defending a non-position is rarely a joy to do.)
"even make you want to believe." - I think it does do this by nature of trying to convince you that it is true, but that's a meta analysis. I also reiterate my point that logic is a system, not a series of concrete always-true answers in reality.
"A gamble is a choice based on the best odds, but the wager shows that there is no logical way one should choose atheism." - I've given at least one example that is part of the 'gamble' (a capricious deity who hates worship of false idols but does not care about atheists) as an example of a risk, however minuscule, that being an Atheist would be preferable in your perspective. This also assumes that whatever reward we end up going to is somehow preferable to non-existence which I do not accept as automatically true for every individual.
"You seem to be defining belief as something that is forced into the mind based on facts presented." - Not entirely. it isn't about facts, but what the individual happens to find compelling. What that is will change by individual and over time - a religious experience at 15 may not be compelling to someone reconsidering their beliefs at 25, for example, and a sudden change in belief after a traumatic experience or sudden realization are other examples of not strictly fact-based belief.
"Belief only appears when there is something unknown." - I disagree, as I believe in my keyboard as much as I also know it is here. I don't believe in a God but I also do not know one does not exist. I have a friend who believes in a God but does not know one exists, and I have met people who do not believe in a God and claim to know such a thing. Knowledge and Belief are not different states of understanding - belief is what you think is true by compulsion, knowledge is what you are confident is true and presumably endorse as such.
"then you have no choice but to believe what you choose to believe" - Incorrect. I do not choose to believe anything is behind a closed door I have never opened. I may or may not believe something is behind it (for example, I am likely to believe there is some kind of ground beyond it, because that is almost certain based on past experience) but I wouldn't
that for certain until I opened the door. I may also believe my friend is beyond it, but if that belief is based only on, say, a desperate desire to see my friend, it would be a belief I did not consciously choose but am experiencing anyway.
Out of characters. So much for keeping it short. Haha.
I do hope we can talk about the Kalam sometime in the future so, if your interest is still alive, I would be happy for you to request my defense of it then.
I'm sorry to say but I do think this is the only real version of Pascal's Wager there ever was. All the others are misrepresentations that are mostly, based on what I've seen, from atheists misrepresenting the wager in a way that is easier to argue against.
Logic is a system, but that doesn't make it less valid as the only way to ascertain truth to a human. Logic can be seen as a tool. It can be used by directive motives to attain a goal. But those motives cannot always be shown to be logical themselves. Pascal's wager is one rare occasion where it can be shown to be illogical not to desire something. But the logic that is needed to go on from there is not included in Pascal's wager.
It seems unreasonable to include made up religions in Pascal's Wager. What I mean by made up is that you yourself made them up and have no other reason to believe in them. Your example of a god that hates false idol worship but does not care about atheists seems to be made up by you. That is, I have studied many religions and I do not know of a religion that could logically contend as being the true one that doesn't punish atheists. Buddhism is the only possible one like that but only because it says everyone will eventually reach Nirvana and so technically Buddhism doesn't think there are atheists, only future converts in one of your next lives. But something that suggests that couldn't be a reality is the understanding that there are no atheists as religion is defined as belief in the highest power in existence. Atheists believe there are no gods and so humans are the highest power in existence and thus atheism is simply self worship with your own mind as the law giver that that same mind obeys.
If you think that heaven, at least the Christian heaven, is not preferable to non-existence, then you do not seem to grasp the concept of heaven. It is described as being far beyond the most enjoyable thing imaginable. And if, as you say, non-existence is better than eternal punishment, then eternal bliss must logically be better than non-existence.
I fail to understand the difference between being compelled by an experience and being forced to see something based on a perceived fact. They seem one and the same to me. A perceived fact compels and you are compelled by what you perceive to be a fact.
I wouldn't say you know that you keyboard is there. You only believe it past the point of questioning it as doing so seems like a waste of time. But these definitions of what belief is seems like semantics, and while I happen to be a lover of arguing semantics, I feel it is off topic. I will attempt to use your definitions of knowledge and belief as much as I can for clarity's sake.
Your formal logic format is interesting and I applaud you using something so clear and utilitarian. However I feel you were missing my point when I used that analogy. I was merely trying to show how belief is all that remains in the absence of perceived knowledge related to value of outcomes weighed against any given evidence, if any. It's not a false dichotomy because there are truly only two options. You either open the door or you don't. Your choice between them proves what you believed despite not knowing for sure.
But we can apply your formally laid out version of the analogy to Pascal's wager, especially if it helps you visualize. I would ask you to notice that the two choices you have are to open the door or not, there is no third option. Not opening the door has only two outcomes, oblivion or punishment. Opening the door has three possible outcomes, oblivion, punishment, or reward. And so long as the probabilities are unknown, the only logical choice is to open the door and possibly get a reward. There's simply no gain to be had from leaving the door shut.
Unless you know for certain atheism is true, then you certainly do believe in atheism. And I assume you do not propose to know there is not God with certainty. If you did you wouldn't be debating me, you would be teaching me.
You choose belief because even if you are convinced that God exists, you can still choose to ignore what he wants and live a hedonistic life. In that way, belief is how one chooses to live their life based upon what they believe they know strongly enough to call solid knowledge. You seem to want to call "acceptance of fact" belief, but not all known ideas can be called purely fact. All the facts in the world can suggest God is real, but if you value your own pleasure more, you can ignore them and instead aim for hedonism.
"I find trying to make myself believe something to be harmful and a waste of time." And that's exactly why Pascal's wager is so valuable. Atheists are all secretly hedonists who value a pleasurable life more than seeking truth. You can't force them to believe, but you can show then that it is illogical to be atheist and break their excuse that "I'm only rational and don't believe because there's no evidence" when in reality, they haven't spent the years required to find that evidence. If there is a God, do you think he gave you a long life but made it so a full understanding of his plan can be garnered before the age of 15?
Do you not see that defining belief as something pointless and automatic will bias you away from it? It's like when atheists say miracles in the bible are unscientific. Of course they are, they wouldn't be miracles if they followed the laws of nature, they would just be normal events. Only the existence of a God explains them so to call them unscientific presupposes there is not God. In the same way, saying that belief is something done without good reason presupposes there is no good reason for belief.
Again, the only possible reason you would not take that 1-99 gamble is because you do not understand infinity. I agree it is logical to know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But that breaks down when one in the hand is compared to infinite in the bush.
But perhaps you need it explained in another way. Living your life pursuing God is more pleasurable than hedonism. Many can attest to this after having gone from a hedonistic life to one of seeking God. And even more so, your chances of finding God if you truly seek is 100 percent. If there is a god, then he would make it possible for anyone who genuinely seeks him to find him. So you worry about all the competing religions making the chance of finding the right religion harder, but it's no harder than there being only one as you will find God if you seek him. So living for God will not be torture and you will find him if you try. This brings the odds back to being only if God exists or not with no downside to seeking.
- I agree with you. But hell is not infinite. It can be seen in …
That is one interpretation, and if that is the case, it is comparable significantly less immoral than what most Abrahamic theists espouse. Fair enough. This does further wound Pascal's Wager though.
I don't believe it hurts Pascal's Wager because, to a mortal, infinite reward and infinite punishment are no more incentivising than infinite reward and finite punishment plus oblivion. One infinity is not less than two infinities.
I can't even empathize with that idea. An infinite punishment sounds immeasurably worse than a finite punishment and oblivion. The pain ends in the latter - it does not in the former.
Oblivion is a state of non-existence, not a state of pain, so it is a different state of infinity than infinite punishment.
The pain does end with finite punishment. But it is not replaced with lack of pain. It's replaced by nothing which no one would possibly want.
But that was not my point. My point was that infinite pleasure is the equal of infinite pleasure plus infinite pain. There is no less reason to aim for infinite pleasure alone than to aim for infinite pleasure and aim away from infinite pain. It does not reduce the infinite value that lies on the non-atheist side of Pascal's Wager.
"It's replaced by nothing which no one would possibly want. " - I am absolutely sure many, many people, myself included, disagree with you. Lack of existence is preferential to eternal suffering by mine and many other people's judgement.
"My point was that infinite pleasure is the equal of infinite pleasure plus infinite pain." - That would be a nebulous state that no human could accurately assess or describe as it deals with two opposing maximums being applied at the same time. I cannot say that would be a pleasant or unpleasant experience because no human can comprehend it in a meaningful way.
"There is no less reason to aim for infinite pleasure alone than to aim for infinite pleasure and aim away from infinite pain." - Sure, but that isn't my point. You are risking pain without any pleasure no matter what in Pascal's wager and it might end up being infinite pain with no pleasure at all, and I along with many others value non-existence over neverending suffering.
"It does not reduce the infinite value that lies on the non-atheist side of Pascal's Wager." - There is not infinite value in the non-atheist side of pascal's wager. There is a chance value at infinite reward. That is very different. I return to the example of gambling - you might win big, you might lose a little, or you might lose it all. What outcome is worth risking for is up to the individual to desire - there is no hard answer to which is best.
"Lack of existence is preferential to eternal suffering" this seems like quite an assumption. I assume that you nor anyone else has experienced either of these so I do not see what this is based off of. I imagine it is that atheists have often come to terms with the idea of not existing and so the knee jerk reaction is to assume non-existence is better than eternal suffering. But that conclusion remains to be seen and is, perhaps, pointless to argue over something that cannot be conceptualized, much less measured.
But I am not measuring how pleasant or unpleasant infinite pleasure or infinite pain. I am simply using the mathematical principle that infinity plus infinity equals infinity.
But in relation to Pascal's Wager, if you value oblivion, then you have nothing to lose or gain by being atheist. Remaining atheist prevents neither infinite punishment nor gains infinite reward nor oblivion. And so it is illogical to ever choose to be atheist. Anything besides atheism at least gives the chance of gain or avoided loss.
A chance at infinite value is infinite value. If you disagree then I must accuse you of not understanding infinity. Any amount of finite gain should logically be sacrificed for the chance at infinite gain and any amount of finite displeasure should be endured for the chance of infinite gain. But remember, it's not a question of only infinite gain, there is also the risk of punishment and possibly(if my understanding of Christianity is wrong) infinite punishment. So then you have that accepting finite pleasure in life gambled against paying for it in what, even by conservative estimates, must be much much more suffering.
And so you are left with two incentives and an unknown chance of losing by choosing worldly pleasure. In no sane world does an individual accept unknown odds that go against the infinite reward and avoidance of "greater than life" punishment.
- I'm suggesting that anyone who does not have an objective mora…
"I'm suggesting that anyone who does not have an objective moral system they subscribe to must have a subjective moral system" - true. But do bear in mind even those who appeal to an objective system do so subjectively and are not perfectly bound to it.
"so to could it happen to anyone who has no objective morality to guide them." - That's true, but the same could well be said of one who thinks themselves to follow an objective code that can be, say, interpreted, etc. But that's arguing a moot point. I agree. Thanks for clarifying.
- "Don't let love cloud your judgement" sounds like so…
- Again, you seem to ignore what the Wager states. It is not say…
- Firstly, we are arguing about the existence of God, not Christ…
- Alright, well I'm afraid this is where my ability to debate en…
Also the Kalam argument is also incredibly baseless. Things don’t exists because they have a purpose. They exists from the randomness of the universe and it’s every changing development. Again, patterns don’t arise from omniscient guidance, but from evolution.
Because lack of evidence to the contrary is exactly what you’re arguing. There’s no theory for Christianity being a fact that has any semblance of evidence, yet hear are arguing that some broken math of “might as well not risk pissing off a fake god” is reason enough to follow the specific religion of Christianity
Firstly, we are arguing about the existence of God, not Christianity specifically. But also yes, I am arguing that these arguments for God's existence are made more valid by lack of evidence to the contrary. We have a logical reason for God and no other explanation that makes much sense at all.
But there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. We can get into that if you like as there is a plethora of historical evidence, biblical evidence, scientifically evidence evidence, and prophesy evidence.
You say the math is broken and yet it simply isn't. You can offer a reason it is broken if you have one but simply saying it is broken isn't an argument. And if that math is sound then why not accept it? It would seem pissing off a possible god is a pretty good reason to do something when there is no contrary reason to not do that thing.
And again, you miss the point when you that this is not arguing for "specifically Christianity" only that a god of some sort exists.
If the Kalam argument is baseless then please explain how. Again, simply saying that it is baseless does not make it so. You must explain how. There are quite a few atheists who are attempting to discredit the Kalam argument so if you could then I would publish that book as it would sell relatively well.
But you don't seem to understand the Kalam argument. It does not state that things exist because they have a purpose. God's existence would surely give them purpose but that is not why they exist, according to the Kalam Cosmological argument.
You again assert that it is a random universe that created everything and yet give no reason for this to be so. I have demonstrated that no model of the random universe I can think of course logically work. If you want to give another model I would be happy to look at it but, again, simply saying these things is not an argument.
"patterns don’t arise from omniscient guidance, but from evolution." You don't think an omniscient being could have used evolution as the method of creation? What you are doing is, in effect, saying "A human didn't build this house. It was clearly a hammer that built it."
- Not at all, the wager only works if the person does not know w…
The “wager” is completely flawed however. Because there’s no proof of a religion being true, the outcome after death could be an infinite number of things so choosing one religion is as crazy as choosing none
Again, you seem to ignore what the Wager states. It is not saying any religion is true. There could be no god or gods at all. The wager still holds true. The wager suggests what one should direct their motives towards, nothing more.
Choosing one religion is not as crazy as choosing none because choosing none guarantees that there will be no gain regardless of what happens. But to choose a religion at random without any other research, you still have a tiny chance of being correct and thus a small chance beats no chance, always.
Show Comments (13)